February 24th, 2014
03:45 PM ET
8 months ago

Jeb on Bush family name: 'It's an issue'

(CNN) – Jeb Bush understands that as the son and brother of former presidents, his family name may hurt him as much as help him if he decides to run for the White House in 2016.

And the former two-term Florida governor reiterated that he'll make his decision on whether to launch a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination by the end of this year.

Bush, the featured guest Monday at the Long Island Association's biannual luncheon, a popular stop for former presidents and White House hopefuls, was asked about the recent comments from his mother. Former first lady Barbara Bush told CSPAN that "there's no question in my mind that Jeb is the best-qualified person to run for president, but I hope he won't," adding that "there are other families," who deserve a chance.

"It's an issue for sure," Bush admitted.

Bush told the story of sitting next to a man on a plane who talked about having a Bush and a Clinton and then a Bush in the White House, with the prospect of another Clinton and Bush to come.

Bush said "I get the point. It's something that, if I run, I would have to overcome that. And so will Hillary, by the way. Let's keep the same standards for everybody."

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she'll decide by the end of the year if she makes another bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Bush said that Clinton's decision would not impact his at all.

As for his timing, Bush said "that's a decision later on," adding once again that he'll decide by the end of the year.

Bush said that he's "old school" in that he feels that "one election should end before the next one starts," referring to this year's midterm elections. Bush said that he thinks a there's a lot that can be done in 2014 and that "I intend to campaign for a lot of candidates for my team, and I hope we can be victorious and I'd rather focus on that right now."

Bush making 2016 calls?

Bush is seen by many political handicappers as someone who could appeal to independents and moderates, as well as Hispanic voters, a demographic where thanks in part to the tough stance by many conservatives on immigration reform, Republicans have much work ahead of them.

"I think we've become a little more harsh than we need to be, so the first step would be to tone it down a bit, chill out," said Bush, adding that "we shouldn't be sending signals that turn them off from the get-go."

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • Jeb Bush
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    It's too bad, too... he's a good, capable man.

    February 24, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The Bush name will be a big issue should he decide to run, but not the only issue. Jeb has the 2000 election to deal with, too.

    February 24, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The debt ceiling was just the start. Can't wait to see the GOBP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea potty's throats 2012 Mitt the twit style.

    February 24, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    "I get the point. It's something that, if I run, I would have to overcome that. And so will Hillary, by the way. Let's keep the same standards for everybody."
    ------------------------------------------
    You can't overcome your name Jeb. It will haunt you to your grave. The name Clinton is loved far more than Bush. When I think Clinton, I think peace & prosperity along with a vibrant economy. When I think Bush, I think Iraq and wreckless spending.

    February 24, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. it must be said

    I'd vote for him. He's a pretty smart and thoughful guy. And he didn't get 4 people killed in Benghazi.

    February 24, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. O'drama ya Mama

    It comes down to this, Bush Sr. couldn't even get re-elected. Bill Clinton who defeated Bush Sr. left the country in pretty damn good shape only to be reversed by Bush Jr.

    February 24, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Glen

    I can't wait to see Jeb explain away how he helped smuggle a wanted terrorist into the US for his buddies in the right wing Cuban mafia.

    February 24, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. GODZILLA1

    The issue is Shrub, against whom the Democrats will run for the remainder of this century.

    February 24, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Ol' Yeller

    Everyone who has a rudimentary knowledge of politics understands just how important name recognition can be. In some cases people have changed their name to try and get an advantage.
    In this case, the republicant party would like to introduce you to their new candidate- Jeb Pelosi.
    (Thank you, thank you very much... apprciate your vote in November).
    Ha!

    February 24, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Glen

    it must be said
    Yet you probably worship Reagan despite his getting 200+ marines killed in Beruit

    February 24, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Wake up People!

    Of course he'll run. He's hoping everyone has forgotten about the count, miscount, recount in FL that put W in the WH. And many will, after all he has the two main prerequisites for POTUS. Wealth and the lack of melanin. Trot out his tan son and boom he's got the hispanics, at least he hopes so.

    February 24, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein

    I hope that he doesn't because his name would hurt him. His brother did a lot of damage to the country and the world. It is going to be put on him.

    February 24, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. it must be said

    O'drama ya Mama
    It comes down to this, Bush Sr. couldn't even get re-elected. Bill Clinton who defeated Bush Sr. left the country in pretty damn good shape only to be reversed by Bush Jr.
    ---

    The country was in a recession when George Bush took office. Ever hear of the DOT COM bubble bursting?

    February 24, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @it must be said
    I'd vote for him. He's a pretty smart and thoughful guy. And he didn't get 4 people killed in Benghazi.
    ----------
    ....But W.Bush got 1000's killed in Iraq based on lies, running up the National Debt. Family Pride.
    Benghazi – the new Birth Certificate conspiracy.

    February 24, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Tampa Tim

    Ever wonder how many innocent Floridians were killed with his stand your ground law?

    February 24, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. it must be said

    Glen
    it must be said
    Yet you probably worship Reagan despite his getting 200+ marines killed in Beruit
    --

    I would have equally criticized Reagan if those troops had repeatedly requested additional security and been denied, especially after explicit threats had been made and numerous prior attacks performed as was the case in Benghazi.

    I would have also equally criticized Reagan had he abandoned troops during a 7-9 hour fire fight with sending reinforcements or trying to help them.

    A year and a half later we still do not know what Obama and Hillary Clinton did while this attack was going on. As far as we can tell, they were both asleep, safe and sound in their beds, resting up for the next days campaign fund raiser.

    February 24, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. g

    the whole world knows the bush family is saudi-arbian owned,and bush sr. made millions shacking down drug dealers in central and south america .the bush fortune

    February 24, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    it must be said

    I'd vote for him. He's a pretty smart and thoughful guy. And he didn't get 4 people killed in Benghazi.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No, he just stood idly by while the 9/11 hijackers trained to fly planes (but not land them) at his good buddy (and big campaign doner)'s airport.

    February 24, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    It's too bad, too... he's a good, capable man.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    As a Floridian my only response is: no, he isn't.

    February 24, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. don in albuquerque

    Let me see, two shrubs and three wars. W left the nation in tatters, and Jeb thinks, just thinks, there might be a problem with name recognition....... Duh, another real mental giant there.

    February 24, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    The Bush name will be a big issue should he decide to run, but not the only issue. Jeb has the 2000 election to deal with, too.
    ----------–
    Election 2000. Where conservatives changed from States Rights to "quick run to the Federal court" to get our way. But now they are for States Rights again. Conservatives: Guess what our moral position is today if the price is right?

    February 24, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. sonny chapman

    I'm a Dem., but I really feel bad for George H.W. that the son he knows could make a good Prez will never get that chance because the son he knew would screw things up got elected & did.

    February 24, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. sonny chapman

    Glen, those 238 Marines lives weren't nearly worth the 4 lives lost in Benghazi. That's the message I draw from Fox News.

    February 24, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. smith

    @Wake up & Rudy- Are you two still cryin over the 200 election? Bush won it in the past. If you really want people to blame.. how about Micheal Moore and Ralph Nader.

    February 24, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Mr. Balls

    Listen to your mother!

    February 24, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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